With the national student loan debt balance hovering around $1.11 trillion, our Chicago consumer rights lawyers are aware that this issue not only has the potential to alter the country’s financial health and history, but it also opens to the door to fraudulent finance companies that take aim at the desperately indebted consumers.
Consider the story of Chicago’s Sharone Brown.
After losing her ability to work due to illness, according to The Chicago Tribune, Brown was unable to keep up with her student loan payments. She was contacted by an alleged student loan debt reduction company that only offered the woman services if she agreed to pay cash up front.
That was Brown’s first red flag. The second was that the company claimed to rely on a federal debt reduction program that doesn’t actually go into effect for three more years.
Brown’s experience resulted in litigation after she took her concerns to the Better Business Bureau and the U.S. Department of Education.
Here are two tips for student loan borrowers struggling to manage their loan payments:
- Never pay for information about how to manage your student loans.
- Always consult a relevant agency — in this case the U.S. Department of Education — or the state attorney general with questions about the legitimacy of debt-consolidation offers and services.
If you are a Chicago consumer and believe you may have been targeted by a fraudulent student loan management company, please contact Markoff Leinberger today for a free consultation.